Let me start out by saying: My dad is awesome.
And let me fully admit: I don’t spend nearly as much time with him as I do my mom.
I mean, he is more than welcome to join us on our lunch/shopping trips, but something tells me he’d rather walk across hot coals than sit at one of our celebrity laced gossip sessions and discussions of my kids latest in potty talk.
My Dad and I are cut from the same cloth- though I like to think I am a bit more patient and quieter in my opinions than he is. “Patient” and “Quiet” and “keep your opinions to yourself” are not known to my Dad.
Which is part of what makes him awesome.
One thing my Dad loves is politics. He is a die-hard democrat and loves nothing more than a good ole debate with his republican friends. I am not so sure “debate” is what you can call it when he gets to
yelling talking about his views. A chair or 2 has been known to be tossed- all in good fun, of course- during the course of a few heated “debates.”
So when I had the opportunity to take my dad on a personal tour of the Capitol, I jumped at the chance.
I have a friend that works in the Office of the Democratic Leadership for Nancy Pelosi. He kindly arranged for us to meet him and give us a grand tour of the Capitol- a “behind the scenes” look, so to speak.
And it was INCREDIBLE. My Dad was so excited and he loved every minute of it. And I loved the fact that I was able to share this with my dad and spend a whole day with him, just the two of us.
So this week is my Photo Finish: A Capitol Day With Dad. This is pretty much going to be a photo album of our tour, with some added “favorite moment” tidbits thrown in.
This was a really special day for me. I love my Dad with all my heart and he has done so much for me over the years. I need to do it more; I am going to do it more.
Because my Dad is awesome.
When we first arrived of course we had to go through metal detectors and all that. I would like to point out that the only one dinged and then needed to get scanned by security was my friend who has worked there for 30 years that was giving the tour. I was amused.
The Capitol is a beautiful building and I, in all my years of growing up and living in DC, had never been before. It’s amazing, the things you never experience in your own city that are major tourist attractions.
This is the old Senate Chamber. They try to keep it really dark like it was “way back when” and lighted with gas lanterns. Our tour included going onto the floor of the House and the Senate, but you weren’t allowed to take pictures.
The House floor, where the President gives his State of the Union, is WAY smaller than one would think. Having always watched it on TV, I had the impression that it was a more cavernous room- but it is actually quite small. The balcony where the First Lady sits? It’s like right on top of you. I always thought they were so high up. Nope. If they fell off they probably wouldn’t even get hurt. We also got the chance to go into the democrats cloak room- where my friend said they have the best hot dogs on the east coast.
One of my favorite parts of the tour was the Senate floor. All the Senators get their own desk, and it tends to be “passed down”, so each state has it’s own desk. Inside each desk previous Senator’s have signed their name. So it was very cool to look in the Massachusetts desk and see the Kennedy’s signatures, and the Illinois desk with Barack Obama’s signature. The Illinois desk is also used as the “candy drawer”, which everyone thinks is funny because it is on the “republican side” of the room now.
Our tour guide taking us into the personal office of the Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi. My Dad looooves Nancy Pelosi, so he was quite thrilled. She was not there, but still pretty exciting. Since she’s from San Francisco, she has bowls of Ghirardelli Chocolates out in her office. I took full advantage.
We got to go several places that typical tours are not permitted, which made us feel somewhat like VIP’s. Pelosi’s office of course being one. The other was the Speaker’s Balcony, which is right above where the Inauguration is held.
He’s the handsomest. And I’d like to point out his suit and tie and how awesome he looks. I would like show this picture to all the teens that were on a tour of the Capitol the same day as us and were wearing leggings and Uggs. Leggins and Uggs on the floor of the House? Really? C’mon.
We then went to the “Whisper Room”. Also known as the Statuary Room (because there are a lot of statues and it was also used for something else but I wasn’t paying attention because I was trying to find the “whisper spot”), there is a spot where if you are standing across the room you can whisper and the person across the room can hear you. Now, given my dad can’t hear if you are talking full volume most of the time, this was lost on him. But I found it pretty cool.
There is also a room off of the Statuary Room called the Lindy Clairborne Boggs Congressional Woman’s Reading Room, which is closed to visitors. So I wouldn’t know about all the photos of the women in congress up on the walls, or that the lovely green couch is where John Quincy Adams died after dropping of a heart attack in the Statuary room. I mean, because closed to visitors. I like this room because I personally met Lindy Boggs several times as she was the grandmother to my best friend growing up. So really, I am like a close family friend, and not a mere visitor.
And this is me in the bathroom. It was such a nice bathroom I couldn’t even use it. It is right outside of the House floor and wasn’t originally a bathroom, hence the huge chandelier and frescoed ceiling. “It’s bigger than the Blue Banana!”
I cannot express enough what a wonderful day it was. I am so lucky to have friends that allow these types of opportunities and I am so glad to have been able to share this day with my Dad.
Have a great crazy day!